You might not be a Christian if…
Last Sunday I brought up the fact that Jeff Foxworthy needs to change his, “You might be a red-neck if…” to “You might not be a Christian if…” I really think the church today needs to ask themselves the hard questions and not pass over them. (After all, that is not what the real Passover meant!) So some things for you to ask yourself today – right now:
If you haven’t talk to anyone about Jesus this week (really this day) you might not be a Christian (check it out – Acts 4:20)
If you haven’t made a disciple, you might not be a Christian (Matthew 28:19-20)
If you only live for Jesus during church service on Sunday, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 1:14, 4:42)
If you pray only at mealtime, bedtime, or when something bad happens you might not be a Christian (Acts 1:14)
If you go throughout most of the day without thinking about Jesus’ gift, you might not be a Christian.
If you look to others as a bother rather than an opportunity to give them Jesus, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 3:1-10)
If you only pray for comfort, safety and good health you might not be a Christian. (Acts 4:29)
If you give to the church only when it is easy and highlights you, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 5:2)
If you serve God only when it is convenient, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 6:3)
If you only speak of Jesus when everyone agrees with what you say and believe, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 7:2-53)
If you want Jesus and the Holy Spirit only for your benefit, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 8:18-19)
If you think following Jesus means beating up others, you might not be a Christian. (Acts 8:1)
If you just want to be saved from hell without having a boss, you might not be a Christian.
This is written to the church, not to those who are not the church. Jesus was very clear – “By your fruit, they will know!” What do “they” know about your Jesus? CHURCH – STOP IT – WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER, THE DAY IS ALMOST OVER, NIGHT IS COMING – GET BUSY FOR JESUS AND NOTHING ELSE!
Recently, I picked up a few copies of a booklet title: “What difference does prayer make?” by Paul E. Miller. (It is an excerpt from his book “Praying Life”) Honestly, I thought it would be a good booklet to give out to visitors and such. So I wanted to read it before I gave it out. It is only 55 pages, so it might be a great teaser!
I really like the simplicity of it. Miller makes a great point: we know as believers that we don’t have to clean up to come to Jesus. HE wants us just as we are, then HIS amazing grace does its work on us as we get to know HIM and grow in HIM. But then something goes wrong within us, we let ourselves be convinced that we have to have these elaborate prayer for them to “work”. Furthermore, we let ourselves fall into to being deceived that we can’t pray effective enough so we therefore give up on prayer. Does this sound like deception for the deceiver? The picture we must remember is from Jesus’ ministry. Jesus said a couple of times, “Let them little children come to me…” Then we need to remember that Jesus lead us to observe the little children and learn from them when it comes to prayer. A child asks unashamedly and selfishly for things from their parents and often as parents we give to them. In Matthew 7, Jesus said if your sone asks for a fish what dad gives him a snake And if we know how to give good gifts even though we are evil. How much more will our Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask? God really wants to hear from us not in our eloquence, but in our honesty! We don’t polish up our conversations with God, we are to come to HIM in our weariness and heaviness and lay it out on the table before HIM. Because HE is our Father. HE cares for us and about us. Now isn’t this a God you want to talk to. Don’t give up on prayer because you think you don’t have the right words. HE longs to hear from you! James tells us we don’t have because we don’t ask. (Obviously some need to hear this too – this isn’t a genie in a bottle permission to indulge in selfishness. This is an invite to talk to your Father about what you want and also allowing HIM to grow you past yourself. HE does the refining and growing and changing of us!). This is just a snippet of the book, but getting past this will help grow us to see the difference prayer really does make. Come before the Father and begins a new journey in prayer (or restart your journey again!)